pt 143: THE OCELOT & THE EAGLE

Scampi: It should be remembered of course that nothing is certain.

Peter: Certainly!

Scampi: Oh, look who’s decided to go all jocular all of a sudden.

Peter: Ahem.

Scampi: I, of course, am busy feeling up the grooves of history with my anthropologic tongue.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: It’s a textured approach.

Peter: Would you like some tea?

Scampi: Damn right.

PETER WRINKLES HIS NOSE IN DISTASTE LIKE AN ADOLESCENT SKUNK.

Scampi: Whatsa matter?

Peter: There is no matter.

Scampi: Except for the matter at hand, which is that you entertain the delicacy of a gourmand. Nobody knows why, mind you.

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: It would be entirely possible to doze off in the shade of these reeds.

Peter: What reeds?

Scampi: The ones on the riverbank, of course.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: What I’m trying to explain, you know.

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: Well, it’s all very here and there. That’s all I’m saying.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: There’s no need to emit such a noise. I am not a dentist.

Peter: [huffily] I have never accused you of dentistry.

Scampi: Humph.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Sometimes I feel so completely surrounded by history. As though it’s in my living room.

Peter: From my well-stuffed and starched perception of the universe, I can tell you that history is behind you. And the future is ahead, and no one is in your living room.

Scampi: I’ll believe that when I see it.

Peter: Time proceeds in a linear fashion.

Scampi: You have no way of knowing what’s going on in my living room while you loll about on a riverbank.

Peter: [peevishly] Nobody said we were on a riverbank.

Scampi: False! History cuddles you from all sides, like the words of your grandmothers.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: You just have to run through it.

Peter: Run through what?

Scampi: I don’t know.

PAUSE.

Scampi: To get to the other side?

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: I can’t think straight.

Peter: Yes. This is readily apparent.

SCAMPI TOSSES SPINY DARTS AT PETER’S HEAD, PLAYFULLY.

Peter: Stop that.

Scampi: Indeed. The people loved their maize. And eagles and snakes, and jaguars and frogs and human blood and sunshine.

Peter: People like many things.

Scampi: Yes. But we don’t build so many statues any more, do we?

Peter: I do not build statues.

Scampi: No. I could almost just drift off, in this dappled shade.

Peter: What time is it?

Scampi: I’m not sure. It’s either an hour earlier or an hour later.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: One can almost hear the gulls.

Peter: What gulls?

Scampi: From the nineteen-thirties. Calling out on an English beach.

Peter: Nonsense.

Scampi: The noises of the past are one simple eyelash away.

PETER SIGHS.

Scampi: See? That sigh wasn’t even yours. It was taken directly from the Regency Period.

Peter: You do natter on.

Scampi: Who are you, René Descartes?

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: Therefore you don’t think? Har har.

Peter: I admit the reeds are pleasant.

Scampi: I admit I don’t know what time it is. Luckily, you’re Peter and I’m Scampi.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: Oh, look!

Peter: What’s that?

Scampi: A coracle.

Peter: How suspicious.

Scampi: Quick, let’s climb in.

Peter: Erm.

Scampi: How else are we supposed to find out which way the river flows?

Peter: By standing in it?

Scampi: We aren’t statues, Peter.

Peter: No. We are not statues.

Scampi: Right.

Peter: What are we then?

Scampi: Sailors, apparently.

Advertisements

pt 140: FRUIT TREES

Scampi: I’ll draw it for you.

Peter: That really is not necessary.

Scampi: Let me make you this diagram.

Peter: To what end?

Scampi: I want to draw it out for you.  To make things clearer.

Peter: Are we in great need of clarity, all of a sudden?

Scampi: No, no.  It has come up on us, bit by bit.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: You are like a rock on the seashore.

Peter: In what sense?

Scampi: In the sense that I said so.

Peter: Ah. Right.

Scampi: Baking in the sunshine like a loaf of wheat.

Peter: Loaf of wheat? What?

Scampi: Why are you so critical today?

Peter: Was I being critical?

Scampi: Yes. Very picky. For some reason. Which I do not know what it is.

Peter: Perhaps you are misinterpreting my words.

Scampi: Impossible!

PAUSE.

Scampi: Have you ever seen a cactus?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: What, really?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I mean, not in a plant shop.  Or at the zoo.

Peter: They have cactuses at the zoo?

Scampi: Why shouldn’t they? People can have a cactus if they want.

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: So, what? You’ve been to the desert, is that what you’re saying?

Peter: That is not what I am saying.

Scampi: Where did you see a cactus then?

Peter: I cannot recall.

Scampi: Humph. This all smacks of trickery.

Peter: Excuse me?

Scampi: Humph.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Perhaps you were driving along one day in your little Volkswagen.

Peter: I do not own a Volkswagen.

Scampi: Oh look! sez you to yourself. It be a cactoos yonder.

Peter: I do not speak this way.

Scampi: You’re in a very disagreeable mood today.

Peter: I –

Scampi: What? Do you disagree? Ho, ho!

Peter: Really.

Scampi: And truly. Furthermore, I’d like to know where this boat is going.

Peter: Yes, wouldn’t we all.

Scampi: [craftily] So you admit we’re in a boat.

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: Please pay attention to the map. Do you have anything against maps?

Peter: Certainly not.

Scampi: That’s what I’m saying. We don’t want to end up on a shoal.

Peter: Naturally.

Scampi: Well.

PAUSE.

Scampi: What does the chart say?

Peter: [irritably] You haven’t given me a chart.

Scampi: Says you.

Peter: Indeed.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I suppose we could ease up. Drift awhile, fish for smelt in the noonday sun.

Peter: I shall simply tip my chapeau over my eyes like so, and avail myself of a siesta.

Scampi: La-de-da. For my part, I shall read aloud from the book of Deuteronomy.

Peter: I would really rather you did not.

Scampi: Heathen!

Peter: Please. There is no need to shriek like a mynah bird.

Scampi: And why not?

Peter: I am right here.

Scampi: Oh. Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place?

Peter: SIGHS.

Scampi: Would you like a cushion?

Peter: What was that?

Scampi: The book of Deuteronomy is full of stiff necks, you know.

Peter: I am fine, thank you.

Scampi: Suit yourself.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You know what?

Peter: Erm.

Scampi: The shore is so beautiful this afternoon. I feel like a plover.

Peter: Wonderful.

Scampi: Yes. Are you listening to me?

Peter: Mm. Certainly.

Scampi: Okay. What did I just say?

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: Okay.

Peter: Okay.

Scampi: Just checking.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Will I wake you if I catch a fish?

Peter: No thank you.

Scampi: Fine.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Have you ever been in love?

Peter: I think so.

Scampi: What?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Oh. Shall I wake you in case something exciting happens?

Peter: Such as?

Scampi: Uh, dragonflies.

Peter: No, thank you.

Scampi: Fine.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Will you fall in love again, do you think?

Peter: Likely.

Scampi: How do you know?

Peter: I am taking a nap.

Scampi: Yes, yes.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Have I ever been in love?

Peter: I do not know.

Scampi: Oh.

pt 47: SYMPHONIC ASPIRATIONS (or, MICKEY MANTLE & WILLIE MAYS)

Scampi: What do we know about Ohio?

Peter: Other than the fact that we’re in it?

Scampi: Or at least on it.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: So, that’s the extent of our knowledge, then?

Peter: Well.

Scampi: Yes?

Peter: Well, we can surmise, that is to say, ascertain, that, judging by—

Scampi: It’s really hard for you to admit that you don’t know anything about Ohio, isn’t it?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: I understand.  If it makes you feel better, I don’t know anything about it either.

PAUSE.

Scampi: It seems like spring is a good season to be passing through though.

Peter: Indeed.

Scampi: And you know, it’s just going to get springier as we go.

Peter: How do you mean?

Scampi: Because we’re heading south.  Due south.  Or I mean south-west.  Which is pretty much the same thing.

Peter [flustered]: First of all—

Scampi: Why do you have such a penchant for discrediting my whimsy?  Eh?

Peter: We’re heading into summer.  You have everything backwards.

Scampi: Yes, Peter.  I know.

Peter [somewhat appeased]: Well.  Well.

Scampi: I love springtime.  It makes me feel like a plant or an animal.  Or a major-league baseball player from nineteen fifty one.

Peter: Perhaps we should stop and have a siesta soon.

Scampi: You know, the further south we get, the more culturally acceptable this suggestion will become.  Did you know that?

Peter: I suppose.

Scampi: You see?  This journey is full of perks.

Peter: This state we are traversing is rather vowel-heavy.

Scampi: Yes.  Is that all right with you?

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Good.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Would you say that we are working together in concert to achieve a common goal?

Peter: Why do you ask?

Scampi: Oh, I dunno.  Just curious.

Peter: At the very least, we are headed in the same direction.

Scampi: On purpose.

Peter: Correct.

pt 93: TACK DOWN!

Scampi: This is unusual.

Peter: Mm.

Scampi: No, well, I guess it’s normal.  Actually.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: Are you even listening to me?

Peter: Certainly.

Scampi: Suspect.

Peter: [highly insulted]

Scampi: I’m tired.

Peter: Have some coffee.

Scampi: I did.

Peter: Oh.  Well.

Scampi: You’re ignoring me.

Peter: I am not.

Scampi: You are you are you are.  You are.

Peter: Stop that.

Scampi: I have the strangest dreams.

PAUSE.

Scampi: Hello?

Peter: Yes?

Scampi: I can’t even sleep.

Peter: Is it not necessary that you fall asleep in order to dream?

Scampi: I dunno.

Peter: I believe it is.

Scampi: And what do you know about it?

Peter: I have a certain amount of knowledge.  At my disposal.

Scampi: A certain amount!  Humph.

Peter: Rapid eye movement.  The flowerings of the subconscious mind.

Scampi: Oh that.

Peter: What’s wrong with that?

Scampi: It has nothing to do with anything.

Peter: I believe this statement to be flawed.

Scampi: Ah, the fatal flaw!

Peter: Well.

Scampi: I can dream when I’m awake.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Yup.

Peter: Well, there you have it.

Scampi: Prove me wrong.

Peter: No, no.

Scampi: Just try.

Peter: I am not engaging with this.

Scampi: This?  Me?

Peter: The topic at hand.

Scampi: Oh, just back away.  That’s right.

Peter: Why must you needle me?

Scampi: Do not.

Peter: Read any good books lately?

Scampi: Yes.

Peter: Oh?

Scampi: Oh nothing.

PAUSE.

Scampi: You wouldn’t believe the things I see.

Peter: While dreaming?

Scampi: Whenever.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: You wouldn’t begin to know what to make of it.

Peter: I cannot say.

Scampi: No.

Peter: Of course, it is not as though I have never dreamed, myself.

Scampi: Almost.

Peter: Pardon?

Scampi: It’s almost that way.

Peter: Is that an insult?

Scampi: No.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Can we take a nap?

Peter: It is the middle of the day.

Scampi: Who cares?

Peter: Well.

Scampi: Are your eyes closed?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh.

Peter: I am going to prepare some coffee.

Scampi: Gimme some.

Peter: You may have coffee as well, if you wish.

Scampi: Thank you.

Peter: You’re welcome.

Scampi: I’m going to go to sleep right now.

Peter: I would prefer if you didn’t.

Scampi: Why?

Peter: That is my preference.

Scampi: Are you glad we altered our course?

Peter: We altered our course?

Scampi: Yes.  Eastward.

Peter: Ah.

Scampi: We go where the wind blows.

Peter: We appear to.

Scampi: This way.

Peter: East is fine.

Scampi: It had better be.

pt 132.5: SECUELAS

SCAMPI WATERS THE PLANTS.

Peter: Argh!

Scampi: Oh, Peter.  You’re awake.

Peter: Did you just dump a glass of water on my face?

Scampi: Uh.

Peter: [SPUTTERS.]

Scampi: I was experimenting.

Peter: I see.

Scampi: Hey, that was fun.  Go back to sleep.

Peter: No, thank you.

pt 86: DIRECT SUNLIGHT, LIMBS

Scampi: Can you speak Italian?

Peter: Are you asking me?

Scampi: Who else would I be asking?

Peter: If I speak Italian?

Scampi: Do you?

Peter: Certainly not.

Scampi: Yeah I knew that.

Peter: Then why did you ask?

SILENCE.

Scampi: Have you ever tried to see the backs of your legs?  It’s impossible.

Peter: I can see my calves.

Scampi: Yeah, so can I.  I mean the backs of your legs.  That you can’t see.

Peter: Why do you wish to know?

Scampi: I dunno.

PAUSE.

Scampi: I do not know.

Peter: Perhaps I shall avail myself of a siesta.

Scampi: A siesta?  Avail yourself?

Peter: Both.

Scampi: Je-suss.

Peter: Uh.

Scampi: The sun is shining.

Peter: Yes.  It fatigues me.

Scampi: Fatigues you?

Peter: That is what I said.

Scampi: Goddam.

Peter: So much bluster.

Scampi: Well, yes.  It’s the only appropriate response to this sort of – mania.

Peter: My desire to take a nap?

Scampi: Precisely.  Who do you think you are, Rip van Winkle?

Peter: Certainly not.

Scampi: You don’t sound so sure.

Peter: I am not debating this.

Scampi: Why?  Because you can’t?

Peter: No.

Scampi: Oh ho!

Peter: What does that even mean?  That doesn’t mean anything.

Scampi: Why don’t you just curl up under the mountain?  On a pile of treasure?

Peter: Because I am not a dragon.

Scampi: Says you.  What happened to embracing the world?

Peter: Someone’s arms got tired.

Scampi: What?  What?

Peter: Who said anything about embracing the world, anyway?

Scampi: I did.  I just did.

Peter: Yes.  Well, now’s your chance.

Scampi: How many times do I have to say this, Peter?  We’re in this venture together.

Peter: What venture?

Scampi: This one.

Peter: Are we venture capitalists?  Is that what you’re saying?

Scampi: Of a sort.  Perhaps.

Peter: I didn’t hear anything about embracing the world.  That wasn’t in the contract.

Scampi: Ebenezer Scrooge.

Peter: This analogy montage is giving me cerebral spasms.

Scampi: Keep up.

Peter: Calm down.

THANKS TO PETER AND HIS WAYS, AN IMPASSE IS FORCED.

Scampi: Thanks a lot.

Peter: Wait, how was this my fault?

Scampi: Such protestations.  Goodness.

Peter: I don’t appreciate this sort of –

Scampi: Jerrymandering?

Peter: Japery.

Scampi: Oh, Peter.

Peter: That is my name.

Scampi: We know.  That is the one thing we’ve been able, with the available instruments,  to establish, time and time again.

Peter: What instruments?

Scampi: The ones at our disposal, evidently.

Peter: Hm.

Scampi: I could build a fire.

Peter: Out of what?

Scampi: It’s something we can do.  We human creatures.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: We could have some coffee.  Would you like some coffee?

Peter: I feel faint.

Scampi: It will get better.  Keep your limbs moving.

Peter: I feel.  Ah.

Scampi: I know.  It won’t last.

Peter: Oh.

Scampi: It will get better.  Soon.

Peter: Yes.

Scampi: Keep moving.